National U20 Squad beats Utrecht Dragons in Exhibition Game National U20 Squad beats Utrecht Dragons in Exhibition Game

DEURNE - On Monday, December 13, the national U20 squad played an exhibition game at the new ice rink Sportoase Groot Schijn against Utrecht Dragons, which plays in the Dutch first division.

The Belgians got off to a slow start and had to chase their opponents after a first goal from the Dutch through Jerry Kinneging in the twelfth minute. In the sixteenth minute the redemption came via the stick of Wannes Moons (HYC Herentals) who put the equalizer on the scoreboard. It was only in the second period that the routine for the young Belgians was well established. And that translated into more points. In just three minutes, the gap was widened by another three goals, via Boris Adriaenssens (Antwerp Phantoms), Mauro Pyl (Antwerp Phantoms) and Matteo Vandezande (Leuven Chiefs), respectively. The Belgians finally closed the period by making full use of a power play in which Rik Cuylen (HYC Herentals) put the five on the scoreboard. In the last period, Dragons tried to close the gap, twice via Justin Van Baarsen, but with another netter by Mauro Pyl, Team Belgium fixed the final score at 6-3 (1-1; 4-0; 1-2).

Coach Gert Peeters (Antwerp Phantoms) is satisfied. “Initially it was a bit difficult to anticipate this match,” said the national team coach afterwards. “Not all players were available today. What I have seen tonight, however, makes me happy. What our players lack in height, they more than make up for with strong skills. Initially, they were a bit impressed by the big Dutchmen, but in the second period they were all right and the difference was clearly made. The strength of this team is the fact that they are all hard workers who can generate a lot of speed.”

The practice match was part of the preparation for participation in the U20 IIHF World Championships. The Belgians will play in Division 2, Group B, which will take place in Belgrade, Serbia, from January 10 to 15, 2022. There, they will take on the Netherlands, Croatia, Iceland, and host country Serbia. China pulled out resulting a travel ban due to COVID-19.

Re-watch the game via this link.

Posted on December 14, 2021 at 00:19 by CP

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